Although “5 star” may sound like another lofty descriptive word given to luxury hotels, quite a few rigidly placed hoops must be jumped through to get such an enviable rating. Each country has its own organisation that sets the standards for its 5-star hotels, and these organisations are also responsible for enforcing these high standards. Hotels must meet minimum requirements with regards to the size of guest suites, level of luxury, degree of hospitality, room views, ambiance, and sometimes even the noise level is taken into account.
Food is also an important factor. The term “Michelin rated” is often mentioned on luxury hotel advertisements. The French company, Michelin, is renowned for its quality rating system of restaurants. Many of the world’s greatest chefs have built their celebrity status on obtaining a Michelin star rating. The best of such restaurants are found in top luxury hotels. Offering Michelin-rated restaurant cuisine can allow a luxury hotel to jump from a “4 star” status up to a “5 star” title.
So, with the marking criteria established, let’s have a look at a list of the world’s top 5 luxury hotels.
The Connaught Hotel, London
Incredibly enough, the 5-star Connaught Hotel has only seen six managers in its 100+ plus year history. Impressively, these managers have made it their entire professional career to ensure this hotel maintains the same standards originally set by Her Majesty, Queen Victoria in 1897. Located in the exclusive Mayfair district, the Michelin award-winning restaurants, led by celebrity chef Helene Darroze, attract high-rolling Londoners as well as international jet-setting guests.
The Setai Fifth Avenue, New York
Soaring 60 stories over Midtown Manhattan, the famed Setai is a home away from home for world class celebrities and royalty. The 5-star Setai is favored for its 157 uniquely elegant guest rooms and the 57 chic apartment suites, as well as the 2,000 square foot penthouses that are fit for the most pampered of guests. The Setai spa may very well top the list of tranquility-inducing spots with complete coed amenities and treatment rooms for couples.
La Tremoille, Paris
Gracing the covers of many Paris tourist guides and travel magazines is the ultra iconic and famous La Tremoille Hotel. Gorgeously set on the corner of rue de la Tremoille, this crystal jewel puts the sparkle in the city of lights. The boutique-style hotel offers a mere 93 rooms which gives the hoteliers an ability to personally tend to each of the guests and all their comforts. The location and famous exterior of the hotel gives La Tremoille its distinguished classification as a 5-star hotel. Not many Parisian hotels can offer their guests the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre at its doorsteps.
The Singapore government deemed this opulent hotel a National Monument in 1987 and it’s no wonder why. Raffles is a prime example of this city’s famous high standards of hospitality. In a city that is, quite possibly, the largest mixing pot of all the world’s cultures, Raffles Hotel bridges the gap between the ancient eastern history and the modern flair of a culturally vibrant city. This five star hotel has welcomed artists, royalty, statesmen, celebrities and the world’s wealthiest international citizens since 1887. Raffles was named “Best Luxury Hotel” at the 20th Annual TTG Travel Awards of 2009.
Zambezi Queen, South Africa
Imagine floating down the South African waters, docking on the serene beaches of the most beautiful countries along the coast, and then ending the day in your luxurious 5-star suite. Throw in world class dining, poolside cocktails, possibly a candlelit massage, and you have a truly divine experience. The experience of stepping out onto your suite’s private balcony as the Chobe River rushes directly below your feet, plus the option of daily safaris, has placed the Zambezi Queen in the hearts of the rich and famous.
Note: This blog post was written by guest blogger Jonathan. Jonathan enjoys blogging about travel, from river cruises in exotic locations to luxury hotels in London.